Peu­geot has com­pletely over­hauled its 5008 large SUV, turn­ing it into a gen­uine, roomy 4x4. Paul Con­nolly checks it out

Belfast Telegraph - NI Carfinder - - Front Page - FIRST DRIVE BY PAUL CON­NOLLY

WHAT’S NEW? The pop­u­lar­ity of Suv-style cars and their de­riv­a­tives has been ev­i­dent for some time now, and all man­u­fac­tur­ers have had to ad­just strat­egy.

The big­gest loser of this trend is the for­mat of what used to be known as MPVS (multi-peo­ple ve­hi­cles or ‘peo­ple car­ri­ers’). These have largely been steam­rollered out of the way by the SUV craze.

The Peu­geot 5008 has been around since 2009, and it was a grand MPV pop­u­lar with fam­i­lies.

But 2017 saw the trans­for­ma­tion of the 5008 from peo­ple car­rier to SUV.

And what a job the French man­u­fac­turer has done with it. It helps, of course, to have a bril­liant tem­plate to base it on, and Peu­geot did: its 3008 model. The 3008 had been the sub­ject of an in­spired sec­ond gen­er­a­tion makeover in 2016, and Peu­geot wisely ap­plied the same phi­los­o­phy (and then some) to the 5008.

The re­sult is a large pre­mium SUV, with a qual­ity build and a com­pet­i­tive price that sits at the pin­na­cle of Peu­geot’s SUV range, and which I at least re­gard as the brand’s flag­ship ve­hi­cle.

It also comes with seven seats as stan­dard, which will win it fans with fam­i­lies and oth­ers who need to ferry larger num­bers.

The 5008 has al­ready won a clutch of awards, in­clud­ing the ‘Best Large SUV’ at the in­flu­en­tial 2018 What Car? Awards.

bon­net, a ver­ti­cal face and raised body line.

There is no change to the height over the first gen­er­a­tion model: 1.64m with roof bars – stan­dard on all mod­els.

At the front, the wide grille with chrome fins is ex­clu­sive to this model, while the rear de­sign fea­tures the gloss black strip and the sig­na­ture LED ‘claw ef­fect’ rear lights seen in other Peu­geot SUVS.

The rear end is ex­tended in a not wholly grace­ful fash­ion to cope with the large boot and/or third row of seats. But over­all, it’s a hand­some beast, and one that comes in some el­e­gant colours.

CABIN AND SPACE In­side, the qual­ity ex­pe­ri­ence con­tin­ues, with the lat­est ver­sion of Peu­geot’s in­no­va­tive i- Cock­pit in­stalled.

This com­bines er­gonomics and a fu­tur­is­tic ex­pe­ri­ence thanks to fea­tures like a com­pact steer­ing wheel, a large 8” touch­screen dash­board and a 12.3” high-res­o­lu­tion dig­i­tal head-up dis­play.

There’s plenty of room in this car. It’s 19cm longer than the 3008 and 11cm longer than the original 5008.

Six foot­ers will have no prob­lem in the sec­ond row, al­though, as with most seven-seat cars, the rear seats are re­ally de­signed for younger oc­cu­pants.

The ve­hi­cle’s “op­ti­mised ar­chi­tec­ture” (as Peu­geot calls it) shows off some re­ally in­no­va­tive seat­ing.

There are three match­ing, sep­a­rate, fold­ing seats in the sec­ond row, ad­justable in length and in­cli­na­tion, with two re­mov­able, sep­a­rate, fold­ing seats in the third row.

The front pas­sen­ger seat also folds, to al­low long loads up to 3.20m to be ac­com­mo­dated and a prac­ti­cal hands-free mo­torised tail­gate.

Boot ca­pac­ity in its best con- fig­u­ra­tion will yield 1060 litres of space. There’s a hands-free mo­torised tail­gate to help load shop­ping and other items.

SAFETY AND TECH The qual­ity cabin is stuffed with kit and tech. There’s great per­ma­nent con­nec­tiv­ity thanks to a Mir­ror Screen func­tion and 3D con­nected nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem (with Tom­tom Traf­fic).

A lovely Fo­cal pre­mium hi-fi sys­tem and a large panoramic open­ing glass roof are amongst the good­ies.

A plethora of ad­vanced driver sys­tems are avail­able, in­clud­ing Ad­vanced Grip Con­trol – in­clud­ing new Hill As­sist De­scent Con­trol (HADC) – Au­to­matic Emer­gency Brak­ing Sys­tem (AEBS), Dis­tance Alert, Ac­tive Lane Keep­ing As­sis­tance (LKA), driver at­ten­tion warn­ing, speed sign recog­ni­tion and speed sug­ges­tion, and many more.

Par­tic­u­larly use­ful is Vi­sio Park (360° vi­sion) to give you a clear all round vi­sion – and there’s a Park As­sist to semi-au­to­mat­i­cally park the car.

In­ci­den­tally, there’s now a Peu­geot ef01 Elec­tric Bike now on sale in the UK that in­te­grates into the 5008’s boot space – de­signed for that fi­nal mile of your com­mute.

WHO WOULD BUY ONE? With a sim­ple but ef­fec­tive trim level line-up, Peu­geot has made the de­ci­sion mak­ing process rea­son­ably straight­for­ward whilst at the same time of­fer­ing lots of choice within each trim.

The en­try-level Ac­tive mod­els are very well specced for the price, and there’s ar­guably even bet­ter value one level up in award-win­ning Al­lure trim.

For those who want more power, there are three fur­ther sportier choices: GT Line, GT Line Pre­mium and GT.

The Peu­geot 5008 will ap­peal to a wide range of users, es­pe­cially peo­ple who ap­pre­ci­ate its su­pe­rior qual­ity, com­fort, tech­nol­ogy and at­trac­tive pric­ing point.

The price ranges from £25,630 on the road for an Ac­tive model to £37,900 for the range-top­ping GT ver­sion.

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